Marking the launch of Noise Complaint, CiTR’s newest music podcast, a small but dedicated group of local music lovers assembled at the Avant-Garden to celebrate. With each of the 10 episodes of Noise Complaint featuring live performances from one of Vancouver’s best new bands as well as in-depth interviews conducted by Music Director Myles Black, the Launch Party fittingly spotlighted three musical acts from the podcast.
As the crowd slowly arrived, climbing the stairs and packing into the incredibly intimate venue, Maneater casually sound-checked. With the room packed from the couches at the back right up to the band’s mic stands, CiTR’s Programming Exec, Alec Christensen, acknowledged that both CiTR and the Avant-Garden are situated on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and gave a brief intro to the new podcast before introducing the first act.
Unlike most shows I’ve attended, the first act had the biggest crowd of the night. The three-piece fuzzy pop band kicked off the evening with an energetic set of equally noisy and catchy songs — “Noise” and “Health” were stand-outs on the catchy side of things. The drum machine, turned up loud enough to get the crowd moving, took the driver’s seat, propelling the band through a quick and exciting set.
As Maneater finished up, the majority of the crowd descended the stairs to escape the increasing stuffiness of the Avant-Garden and let the stage be reset for the next act, Hope. As the first guest to be featured on Noise Complaint, Hope talked about his community of collaborators and musicians, notably Rudegang Entertainment and Status Krew, as well as the Indigenous issues about which he so elegantly and skillfully raps.
While much of the crowd climbed the stairs again to watch Hope’s set, the room was notably less full than before. Regardless, Hope delivered a stellar performance. Giving lengthy but interesting intros and backgrounds to each of his songs before jumping in, Hope truly engaged the room. While the setup was minimal (playing instrumentals off his phone and rapping overtop), Hope’s delivery was powerful enough to grab and hold the crowd for his entire set. His performance of “100 Million,” a track off his upcoming album Red Man and written in support of the Wet’suwet’en and Unist’ot’en, was the highlight of the night — his quick flow and rhythmic dexterity, in addition to his tightly packed rhymes, were enthralling.
After what seemed like an especially long change-over, Nasti Weather took to the stage. Just like before, most of the audience left the room during the intermission, but this time, hardly any of them returned. The handful who did stick around for Nasti Weather’s set were treated to Anastasia Schlechtleiter’s bluesy folk tunes. Wielding a banjo, Schlechtleitner belted out an array of jazz-tinged songs, with accompanying guitarist Brendan Steele adding in tasteful and soulful guitar lines. Even with the sparse applause between songs, Nasti Weather pushed on, committed to the performance.
While the Launch Party unfortunately lost momentum over the course of the night, all three of the night’s performances were strong. If these musicians are any indication of the variety and quality of the rest of the guests featured on Noise Complaint, it’ll be a podcast too good to miss.